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DEAR READERS: We love to pamper our pooches, get their ears cleaned and nails clipped (and polished?), possibly a gland expression and a sudsy scrub, rinse, blow-dry and hair bow. But when it comes to dog grooming, how much do you know about your dog groomer?

Formal training and licensure may not be required in your state; many dog groomers learn on the job only. Read online reviews, and ask for recommendations from your friends and people you trust. Research thoroughly before you hire a dog groomer.

Drop in and observe the groomers in action and ask questions. Only allow your dog to be groomed if you feel comfortable.

The majority of dog groomers are responsible and skilled professionals. Just be aware that dog groomers may have limited training and experience.

DEAR HELOISE: The local zoo accepts cardboard cores from toilet paper and paper towels. They use those for animal enrichment. The cores are filled with treats and sealed. The keepers give them to various animals that then have to figure out how to open them to get their treats.

Collecting and filling the cores and then watching the animals open them is a fun project for young kids and an opportunity for youth organizations for service-project hours.

-- Marge B., via email

DEAR READERS: It's tennis season. Have you wondered why the score of zero in tennis is called "love"? Theories abound.

One of the most popular originates from the popularity of tennis in France. The French word for "egg" ("l'oeuf") means "goose egg," which is slang for zero. The word "l'oeuf" resembles the word "love."

It's also been said that people who have a true passion for tennis play for the "love" of the game and nothing else.

DEAR HELOISE: My family has developed a "birthday registry" of sorts. Since we are scattered all over the country, it's impossible to know what a person needs, wants, etc.

We develop a list of things we'd like to have or things we need, and we discreetly email the list to those who need it. This has worked well, and people get gifts they need and want!

-- Holly H. in Massachusetts

Send a money- or time-saving hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795001, San Antonio, Texas 78279-5000; fax to (210) 435-6473; or email

HomeStyle on 07/06/2019

Print Headline: Helpful Hints

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